Attractions in Brooklyn, New York
The Brooklyn Museum, located at 200 Eastern Parkway, in the New York City borough of Brooklyn, is the second-largest art museum in New York City, and one of the largest in the United States. Arnold L. Lehman is the museum’s Director.
One of the premier art institutions in the world, its permanent collection includes objects ranging from ancient Egyptian masterpieces to contemporary art, as well as the art of many other cultures. Housed in a 560,000 square foot (52,000 m²), Beaux-Arts building, approximately 500,000 patrons visit the museum each year. Located in Central Brooklyn, the museum is a half-hour from midtown Manhattan and about 15 minutes from downtown Brooklyn. It is served by the Eastern Parkway–Brooklyn Museum subway station on the IRT Eastern Parkway Line (2 and 3), and the nearby Botanic Garden station of the Franklin Avenue Shuttle.
The Museum is located on Eastern Parkway, at Washington Avenue. It is co-located with the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Mount Prospect Park, and the Central Branch of the Brooklyn Public Library. The museum sits at the border of the Prospect Heights, Crown Heights, and Flatbush neighborhoods. It is near Brooklyn’s Prospect Park.
Opened in 1897 and founded by Augustus Graham, the Brooklyn Museum building is a steel frame structure—built to the standards of classical masonry—designed by the famous architectural firm of McKim, Mead, and White and built by the Carlin Construction Company. Daniel Chester French, the noted sculptor of the Lincoln Memorial, was the principal designer of the pediment sculptures and the monolithic 12½ foot figures along the cornice. The figures were carved by 11 different sculptors. French was also the designer of the two allegorical figures Brooklyn and Manhattan currently flanking the museum’s entrance (created in 1916 for the Brooklyn approach to the Manhattan Bridge, relocated to the museum in 1963).
Thomas S. Buechner was named as the museum’s director in 1960, making him one of the youngest directors in the country. Buechner oversaw a major transformation in the way the museum displayed art and brought some one thousand works that had been languishing in the museum’s archives and put them on display. Buechner played a pivotal role in rescuing the Daniel Chester French sculptures from destruction due to an expansion project at the Manhattan Bridge in the 1960s.
From 1971-1974 Duncan F. Cameron served as director, with Michael Botwinick serving from 1974-1982, Linda S. Ferber as acting director for part of 1983, and Robert T. Buck from 1983-1997.
The Brooklyn Museum changed its name to Brooklyn Museum of Art in 1997, shortly before the start of Arnold L. Lehman’s current term as director. On March 12, 2004, the museum announced that it would revert to its previous name. In April 2004, a new entrance pavilion, designed by James Stewart Polshek and facing Eastern Parkway, opened at the Brooklyn Museum.
The Brooklyn Museum exhibits collections that seek to embody the rich artistic heritage of world cultures. The museum is well-known for its expansive collections of Egyptian and African art, in addition to 17th, 18th, 19th, and 20th century paintings, sculpture, and decorative arts throughout a wide range of schools.
In 2002, the museum received the work The Dinner Party, by feminist artist Judy Chicago, as a gift from The Elizabeth A. Sackler Foundation. Its permanent exhibition began in 2007, as a centerpiece for the museum’s Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art. In 2004, the Brooklyn Museum featured Manifest Destiny, an 8-by-24-foot oil-on-wood mural by Alexis Rockman that was commissioned by the museum as a centerpiece for the second-floor Mezzanine Gallery and marking the opening of the renovated Grand Lobby and plaza at the museum. Other exhibitions have showcased the works of various contemporary artists including Patrick Kelly, Chuck Close, Denis Peterson, Ron Mueck, Takashi Murakami, Mat Benote, Kiki Smith, Jim Dine, Robert Rauschenberg, Sylvia Sleigh and William Wegman.
In 2008, curator Edna Russman announced that a third of the Coptic art held in the museum’s collection—second-largest in North America—is fake. Of 30 works of art, Russman believes 10 are faked. The fake artworks will be displayed in an exhibition starting in 2009.
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200 Eastern Parkway
Brooklyn, NY 11238
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